Mandala is the Sanskrit word for 'circle'. Commonly, a mandala is a circular drawing made in a ritual and geometric way to contain the mandala-maker's thoughts, reflections, ideals, dreams, symbols and psychological state of mind.
A mandala can be viewed as a psychic totality, a symbol or reflection of the self. It can be viewed as a reflection of consciousness at the moment of drawing.
The mandala - the outer circle - can be regarded as the container. Within this container, the mandala-maker draws the pictures or words, the colours, symbols, icons, numbers or textures that are appropriate and potent for them at the time.
The contents of the cirle are uniquely meaningful to the mandala maker, and can be interpreted in the same way that dream symbols can be read.
THE SYMBOLISM OF THE CIRCLE
The circle is a universal human symbol, found in all the world's great spiritual and religious traditions.
It is a shape without beginning or end, thus representing wholeness, unity, the centre, the Self, totality, enternity, infinity, timelessness, cyclical reoccurence, the universe and God. It can represent the entirety of both the inner and the outer world.
The term 'mandala' denotes the ritual or magic circle in Lamaism and also in Tantric yoga as an aid to contemplation - C. G Jung
(Source: Wikipedia & Pearson, M)